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How to Use a Beard Straightener Like a Boss

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By: Adam Williams

Whether trying to make a curly beard straight or simply looking for a more kempt appearance, electric beard straighteners or beard flat irons are a great way to get the style you want in your facial hair.  

But before you start running it through your beard, it’s essential to know how to use a beard straightener properly.  We’ll cover all the necessary steps so you don’t burn and ruin your facial hair for good.

Let’s begin.

1. Clean Your Beard

The first step is to make sure that your beard hair is nice and clean. Straightening your beard while it’s dirty can make even a healthy beard look bad. Natural oil, dirt, or grit must be removed, so it doesn’t cause damage or make your beard look worse as it can distribute dead skin and pollutants.

Consider using a beard shampoo. Good beard shampoo will remove dirt and pollutants without drying hair follicles or skin underneath your facial hair.

2. Pat Dry

Once your beard is cleaned, make sure to dry it thoroughly. Don’t scrub your beard dry with a towel as it can cause tangles and rough up hair, making it more difficult to straighten. Instead, pat your beard dry and be patient. You can also use a blow dryer on a low heat setting – hot air can worsen dry skin or beard dandruff.

3. Apply a Heat Protectant Spray

Heat can quickly damage your facial hair, so it’s a good idea to provide some level of protection.  Heat protectant sprays will help prevent or reduce unnecessary damage to the hair follicle. 

Most heat protectant sprays are also oil-based, ensuring your beard won’t burn as it would if it was still wet.

4. Run a Beard Comb Through Your Facial Hair

Now that you have a protected, dry beard, you should comb it out before straightening. Doing so can help straighten the dry hair before using the straightener. In addition, this will prep the hair and help to remove knots.

We recommend a proper beard comb here as it provides a fair bit better control.  However, a regular hair comb or beard brush can also work.  

5. Set Beard Straightener to Low or Medium Heat Setting

Once your beard is clean, dry, protected, and combed, you’re ready to begin straightening. The first thing you should do is set your straightener to a low or medium-temperature setting.

While it may seem less effective and slower, it’s important to know that high heat can and will damage your hair (source). You’ll end up with frayed, split ends and a beard that desperately needs trimming.

6. Run the Straightener Through Your Facial Hair From Base to Tip

To use your straightener, begin at the base of your beard as close to your skin as possible. Then, run the straightener from the base to the tip of the hair in slow, even strokes. Even the best beard straightener can take several strokes, so be patient! 

When straightening, be sure to move at about 25% speed compared to how quickly you normally comb or brush your beard.  Additionally, make sure that you don’t leave the straightener in one place for an extended period.  Doing so can cause long-term damage to the hair follicle.

Lastly, consider working in sections. It’s easier to get consistent results and easy to continue if you get distracted halfway through the straightening process.

7. Apply a Beard Conditioner

Once you have your straightened beard, apply a beard conditioner.  Beard conditioners will add moisture to your skin and beard for better looking and feeling results.

Also, keep this in mind if you’re undecided whether to use a beard balm or beard oil:

  • Beard Balm: Contains a small amount of beeswax along with conditioning agents.  This helps lock in the style of your beard for the entire day and also control frizz.
  • Beard Oil: A blend of carrier oils and essential oils moisturize skin and beard.  Unlike beard balm, beard oil provides no styling hold.

Common Questions

Now that you know how to straighten your beard, you may have a few questions about the process. Here we answer a few of the more common questions.

Should I apply a beard conditioner before or after straightening?

It’s best only to apply products after you have a straightened beard. Applying beforehand may cause damage or result in foul smells from the fragrances within the beard conditioner as they can burn.

How often should you use a beard straightener?

You shouldn’t use a beard straightener too often due to the danger of introducing too much-focused heat to your hair. We recommend that you only straighten your beard two or three times per week.

Should I clean my beard straightener?

Beard straighteners must be cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of bacteria or debris within your facial hair. Here is a helpful guide on how to clean a beard straightener.

Is it safe to use a beard straightener?

A beard straightener is a safe tool for both you and your beard. But, make sure you’re using it correctly. Keep your face, hand, and fingers away from the heating element, and make sure you aren’t using it around water. A heated beard straightener can burn you even at the lowest temperature settings.

Conclusion

Men with beards sometimes hesitate to straighten their hair out of fear of damaging it. But with proper preparation, low heat, and a bit of practice, you can straighten your facial hair without any fear. 

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more.

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